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17-Feb-2015

New York Court Admits TrueAllele After Frye Challenge

Cybergenetics software reliably interprets DNA evidence

PITTSBURGH, PA, February 17, 2015

A New York court admitted Cybergenetics TrueAllele® Casework into evidence in the murder trial of People v. John Wakefield. Schenectady Supreme Court Justice Michael Coccoma found that the DNA interpretation software "is not novel but instead is 'generally accepted' under the Frye standard." New York is the sixth state to admit TrueAllele after an admissibility challenge.

DNA evidence is often low-level, or a mixture of two or more people. While crime laboratories can generate informative data from such DNA, older mixture interpretation methods (CPI, CLR) often fail to produce a match statistic. So tens of thousands of DNA items have been processed, but never used as criminal evidence.

Judge Coccoma found that "computerized probabilistic approaches and likelihood ratio principles used by Cybergenetics TrueAllele Casework are superior to current methods. Moreover, Cybergenetics TrueAllele Casework has been demonstrated to be one of, if not, the most advanced method of interpreting DNA profiles from mixed and low-template DNA. It has been proved to be more accurate than CPI and CLR, preserves more of the identification information, eliminates examiner bias, produces a match value which human review may not, and permits standardization of mixture reporting whereas human review approaches can lead to very different match statistics on the same DNA data."

The New York State DNA Subcommittee of the Commission on Forensic Science unanimously approved TrueAllele in May of 2011 for use by the New York State Police (NYSP) for their forensic casework. The full Commission ratified that approval in July of 2011.

The NYSP have been using TrueAllele Databank for a decade to eliminate convicted offender backlogs and upload profiles to the FBI's CODIS database. The NYSP are poised to run their own in-house TrueAllele Casework computer system on DNA mixture evidence. TrueAllele Casework was used to help identify human remains in the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster in New York City.

Cybergenetics has provided TrueAllele match reports for complex DNA evidence in over 200 cases. TrueAllele has been used in eight New York counties, helping to secure justice in crimes of murder, rape and incest rape. New York jurors heard TrueAllele testimony on DNA mixture evidence in the Casey Wilson serial rape trial (Elmira, NY) and the Lewis Swift homicide trial (Syracuse, NY); both defendants were convicted.

Cybergenetics develops patented TrueAllele technology that objectively interprets DNA evidence. The company supplies computer systems and databases to crime labs, and provides expert witness services in criminal cases.